oa South African Medical Journal - Paediatric dental sedation : will your child return home unharmed? : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Sedation is widely used to reduce the fear and anxiety associated with dental procedures. In South Africa (SA), this is frequently done in consultation rooms rather than a theatre environment, with the aim of reducing cost and improving patient comfort, particularly in the case of children. Both local and systemic analgesia are combined with sedation. While severe complications are rare, critical incidents such as dysrhythmias or respiratory depression are common. Adverse events occur more frequently and have worse outcomes in the younger age group (((< 7lt;7lt;7 years of age). Such events include undersedation (with movement and possible injury), oversedation, oxygen desaturation, airway obstruction, laryngospasm, respiratory and cardiovascular depression or respiratory or cardiac arrest, seizures, unresponsiveness, allergic reactions, vomiting or excessive secretions, with risk of aspiration, and death.

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